The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

February 9, 2010

Labor groups pay tribute to Murtha

JOHNSTOWN — While Johnstown is no longer a steel town, the United Steelworkers have not forgotten U.S. Rep. John Murtha.

The union was one of three major labor organizations that paid tribute to Murtha on Tuesday, a day after the Democratic lawmaker died due to complications from gallbladder surgery.

Leo W. Gerard, United Steelworkers international president, said Murtha’s contributions began early in his legislative career.

“Shortly after his 1974 election, he got behind the legislation to establish the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp. to insure private pensions,” Gerard said.

“He will always be remembered for the federal assistance to rescue Johnstown from the 1977 disastrous flood, saving steelworker jobs so the thousands returning to work were eligible for full pensions in their later years.”

Gerard added that Murtha, in 1979, co-founded a Congressional Steel Caucus “that continues today as one of the most effective legislative support groups for steel manufacturing jobs and policies to stop unfair steel imports.”

Also weighing in was Cecil E. Roberts, international president of the United Mine Workers of America.

Roberts called Murtha “a great friend of our nation’s coal miners” and said the lawmaker assisted both current and former members of that profession.

“Because of Rep. Murtha, thousands of dislocated coal miners received skills training in other occupations through grants he was able to secure for the UMWA Career Centers, so they could continue supporting their families,” Roberts said.

“Many more have received new miner training at the career centers so they could enter the coal-mining work force with the skills they needed to be safe, productive employees.”

Officials with the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO added that Murtha “understood the struggles and challenges that working people face.”

“Millions of working families across Pennsylvania have benefited from Congressman Murtha’s leadership and service on their behalf,” the union said in a statement released Tuesday.

“Congressman Murtha understood that government has an active role to play in helping create the right conditions for job growth and economic prosperity for labor and business.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • smothers ‘It breaks my heart’: Shooting victim’s death leaves trail of shattered lives

    Victoria Smothers knows what people thought when they heard that a young black male had been shot to death in Moxham last week.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • School violence studied

    On a typical day last year, Pennsylvania schools caught 11 students toting weapons similar to ones used to slash 21 students and a security guard at a Pittsburgh-area high school, according to the state Department of Education. An untold number of others likely brought weapons to school but weren’t caught, safety experts say.

    April 16, 2014

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    April 16, 2014

  • egg hunt17 ACRP quietly notes 25th anniversary

    There will be little or no fanfare accompanying Alternative Community Resource Program’s 25th anniversary.
    And that’s how the executive director, Frank Janakovic, wants it.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • windber17 Windber students earn top ‘Overchiever’ rank

    Windber Area school’s PSSA scores have been tops in the region for the past several years.
    This year, they’re among the head of the class statewide, Pittsburgh Business Times annual Schools Guide shows.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wise, Charles Police charge bank robbery suspect

    A Johnstown man was jailed on $250,000 bond after police said he robbed the West End Branch of AmeriServ Financial. Charles Wise, 48, of Barron Avenue, was charged with two counts of robbery.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Inmate awaits sentencing for assault on guard

    A former inmate faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced for assaulting a corrections officer at State Correctional Institution-Somerset, authorities said.

    April 16, 2014

  • windber pool Pool stays afloat despite troubles

    When a valve broke at the Windber Recreation Park pool last month, its municipal authority caretakers feared that meant the end for the pool’s aged, much-patched liner.
    But the old liner has held up – a stroke of luck that will save Windber Municipal Authority from having to seek a line of credit to cover repairs or risk delaying the pool opening, the authority’s recreation director, C.W. Beckley, said.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Creativity blossoming for spring art show

    The 16th annual Art in Bloom spring art show will brighten the Cambria County Courthouse in Ebensburg from noon to 6 p.m. April 26 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 27.

    April 16, 2014

  • Alcatraz Challenge offers escape from routine

    Greater Johnstown Community YMCA is gearing up for its indoor biathlon, the Alcatraz Challenge.

    April 16, 2014


Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads